St Leonards lights are declared a hit

The Christmas lights. Picture by Kevin Burchett
The Christmas lights. Picture by Kevin Burchett

Central St Leonards is fully illuminated for the festive season, thanks to the town winning a national competition.

The Christmas lights, which were switched on at the Frost Fair on November 28, now have extra sparkle after St Leonards Town Team won £10,000 in the contest.

St Leonards Town Team

St Leonards Town Team

The competition was run by Revive and Thrive and sponsored by Blachere Illuminations UK.

St Leonards beat competition from almost 60 towns and cities, including Hastings, to come out on top.

Suzy Rann, from the Town Team, said: “Central St Leonards is now illuminated to look like the grandeur of Christmas past when Kings 
Road was well-known for its awe-inspiring Christmas displays.

“The new lights were switched on at a ceremony at St Leonards Frost Fair by resident and lucky Frost Finger winner Katia Cowley along with Ronnie Brown, managing director of Blachere Illuminations UK, who is also responsible for lighting up the Champs Elysee, Eiffel Tower, Vienna and Red Square.

“The scheme, for the first time, has been extended through London Road and Norman Road with beautiful animated lamp-post decorations.”

She added the lights had proved popular with residents and visitors, being the ‘talk of the town’.

Suzy said: “The general opinion is that they are the best for miles. Installation of the lights was entirely funded with local generosity.

“The Town Team hopes to extend the scheme in future years working with Southeastern and the Marine Quarter to light up all our town has to offer in the dark winter evenings.”

The Revive and Thrive Christmas Light contest was launched earlier in the summer.

Towns across the UK were invited to send in their ideas to judges to illuminate their major shopping areas and create a more vibrant retail experience over winter.

The St Leonards Town Team’s original bid, put together by volunteers, made it into the final round.

Just eight out of 59 original entry teams were invited to Blackpool in September to pitch their case to a panel of judges and the team had 15 minutes to make their case.

Secretary Virginia Vilela decided to make a short video, which was shot to a tight timescale and edited by trader Suzy.

It also offered statements of support from traders and the town’s MP, Amber Rudd as part of the bid.

Hastings came third in the competition, claiming a prize of £1,000.

St Leonards Town Team is a voluntary business and residents’ community group.

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